Just hearing the words 'white balance' is usually enough to strike fear into the heart of even the most hardened of amateur photographers. After all, it sounds so technical, so it must be complicated, right?
Most serious photo-editing programs let you use a histogram as a guide when editing your images. However, since most image corrections can be diagnosed by looking at a histogram, it helps to look at it while still in a position to reshoot the image.
Although light from the sun or from a light bulb looks white to us, it actually contains a mixture of all colors, all of which affect the color of a scene it illuminates.
Today we will be talking about the White Balance.
In photography, there is a color of light called "daylight". However, over the course of the day, the light can change from a warm red at sunrise, to a cold blue at noon, and then back to a warm red or orange at sunset.
Let's get into some details here!
Color is a visual property of perception. Camera chip interprets the light that passes through the lens in a similar way as our brain interprets the light passing through our eyes. Our perception of color is a result of the journey undertaken by light.
Light travels from the light source onto an object and then it bounces off the object and continues to travels through our eyes onto receptors. Then information received is processed by the brain. The brain, being very considerate of our psyche, it balances the color of the light to a white point (simulating daylight).
The camera works in a similar manner as the human eye + brain: the light enters the lens and falls onto sensor and then the data gets processed and the software/firmware assigns corresponding values based on camera settings.